Bachelors Jam

, from Issue #27. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Bachelors Jam

This is not a jam in the true sense but a delicious alcohol-infused concoction that develops a smooth, luscious taste when kept for a few days in the fridge before use. The story goes that it originated at Eton, where boarders brought it with them to consume during term.


500 grams mixed berries* any combination of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, loganberries
250 grams caster 
sugar brandy or rum to cover


Put the berries and caster sugar in a large bowl and gently combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, gently stir again and transfer to a large, wide-necked jar. Add enough brandy or rum to cover the fruit. Cover tightly and refrigerate, stirring daily to combine the flavours. After 3-4 days the alcohol mellows with the berry juices and sugar to form a rich syrup. The jam will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Serve with slices of Madeira or pound cake and mascarpone; meringues and softly whipped cream; over good vanilla ice-cream with a crisp biscuit; or place a few berries and a little of the liquor in a tall glass and top up with champagne.

*Bags of frozen mixed berries are ideal for this recipe. Combine with the sugar while still frozen and as they thaw out, the juices mingle with the sugar.